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COVID-19 – leading law forward using DocuSign

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our Firm is focusing on business continuity, including supporting the business continuity of our clients. Practice innovation investments we have made help our business to continue “as usual” even when the unexpected happens. We have planned to be one step ahead to assist our clients in times like these.

Many of your employees and transaction professionals are now working remotely so obtaining in-person signatures may be impractical. Our team at Stewart McKelvey can support current and upcoming corporate transactions electronically and help you obtain electronic signatures with the click of a button using the DocuSign platform.

DocuSign is an e-signature platform providing convenient service to over 180 countries. The receiver does not need an account to sign a document using DocuSign. You can even sign a document using your mobile device. Our DocuSign platform is also fully integrated with Closing Folders, our legal transaction management software that allows our team to work efficiently and diligently in sending, receiving, and managing documents electronically. Executed signatures are sent back to us instantly upon signing.

DocuSign complies with Canadian laws and the laws of our leading trading partners, including the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada and elsewhere, documents signed using a DocuSign electronic signature are legally enforceable. Electronic commerce legislation in each of the Atlantic provinces permits electronic signatures that are “created or adopted” for signing legal documents.

DocuSign allows the signatory to upload an electronic signature, draw an electronic signature using the mouse on their computer, or use a pre-defined signature set by DocuSign. Each signature type, even those that are “adopted” (not created from the signatory’s paper signature),  should be legally enforceable on most corporate transaction documents.

There are exceptions for special documents which cannot, under electronic commerce legislation and other laws in Atlantic Canada, be signed electronically. These exceptions include:

  • Wills and codicils and trusts created by wills or codicils
  • Powers of attorney
  • Many documents that create or transfer interests in land
  • Promissory notes and other negotiable instruments

Please speak to a member of our corporate group to explore whether DocuSign will work for your transaction, or to learn more about how we can assist you to obtain electronic signatures and maintain business continuity. Most of us remain reachable, as you normally would, by telephone or e-mail. We will continue to monitor and respond to the latest developments.


This article is provided for general information only. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Corporate/Commercial Group.

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